Thursday, 7 July 2011
Need a Heart of Stone Not to Laugh
One reason why I didn't write anything about Johann Hari's hilarious humiliation was because Splintered Sunrise wrote about it far better than I could. Not just about what did happen but what would happen. Thus spake SS:
'I think Hari will be all right in the end. Were he an actual jobbing hack this might kill off his career, but he’s high enough up the food chain to survive. He’ll go to ground for a while, perhaps claiming the criticism is all motivated by homophobia (thanks to Laurie Penny for rolling out that alibi early), then resurface with a tearful interview on Women’s Hour about how sorry he is, but now he’s learned from his mistakes and won’t ever do it again, honest guv. He certainly has a tribe of devoted fans who’ll forgive him anything, and will probably keep some kind of writing gig; but he’ll never live this down. Private Eye will be repeating the story for the rest of his natural life.'
Surely enough, the porky wunderkind (who seems to be morphing into Nick Clegg) has no sooner flagellated himself, than he's started banging on about 'the religious' again.
Afraid I found myself reaching for the cotton wool after five mins (sounds a good cause, if he's not speaking bullshit, but maybe someone less whiney can summarise the supposed document more precisely in a couple of hundred words) but his opening speech is comedy gold. He supports freedom of speech, doncha know. He supports people's rights to criticise him, if you please. My golly gosh, I bet the thought police were just about to round up his critics and feed them to starving rats before he spoke in favour of the right to criticise porky, z-grade Indy journalists.
Or so the people who rapturously applauded his mea culpa must have thought.
The ironic thing is that I regard myself as a humanist and generally a supporter of empiricism. Hari's combination of dishonest journalism and vitriolic hatred towards 'the religious' demonstrates he's neither. If he does survive then The Independent will be devoid of credibility.
Notice, incidentally, that there's no comments section under his self-aggrandising video? Very meaningful in itself.